Thailand Pass might be dropped by June 1
The cancellation of Thailand Pass registration could take place as early as June 1, according to the Tourism and Sports Ministry. With Thailand Pass gone, tourists would go back to using their TM6 immigration arrival forms for vaccine declaration. Earlier projected dates of July 1 to drop the much-debated Thailand Pass could happen a month earlier if the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration accept the proposal from Tourism and Sports Minister, Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn.
While the Test & Go and Sandbox programs finish at the end of April, the actual Thailand Pass will remain, with travellers still required to upload passport details, vaccination info, and proof of payment for their Covid insurance, valued at US$10,000. They then have to wait for approval.
While the action to remove much of the paperwork has been welcomed by tourism and hotel operators in Thailand, the digital gateway of the Thailand Pass is still seen as a bureaucratic barrier by many travellers, who would welcome the dropping of the online pre-registration process altogether.
According to a Bangkok Post report, Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn says Thailand’s Public Health Minister, Anutin Charnvirakul, has already agreed to drop the Thailand Pass. However, any such move would of course still need the approval of the CCSA.
“If the infection rate caused by the Omicron variant subsides by June 1, the remaining travel regulations must be unlocked as the country prepares to announce Covid-19 as endemic.”
Phiphat says that once the Thailand Pass is gone, international arrivals may have to record their vaccination details on the TM6 immigration form (that blue and white slip of paper you fill out on the plane). The responsibility for health-screening arriving passengers would then sit with immigration officers.
In related news, the 300-baht tourism fee is back on the table, with a proposal going before Cabinet in the coming weeks. The fee is expected to be implemented within 3 months. Phiphat says that if the requirement for Covid-19 insurance is dropped, the tourism fee can be used as a form of insurance for travellers, and will cover treatment costs for Covid patients with mild symptoms.
SOURCE: Bangkok Post
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